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Karachi will endure

Karachi will endure not just because it has to, but because its inhabitants refuse to call it quits and give up in to the face of adversity, for it is the people that define Karachi, and their resilience in essence embodies the spirit of Karachi. Karachi belongs to all of those who seek refuge beneath its bruised and battered but bountiful shade irrespective of what walk of life they come from, and is not owned just by the political parties that represent Karachi in provincial or federal echelons of power.

We blame the politicians that they’re not doing enough to quench the violence happening daily in Karachi as they’re too busy in politicking, but we cease to ponder over the very basic fact that these individuals are too among us, cut from the same cloth as us, we elect them, we choose them to represent us and make decisions at our behest, would we react so differently if we find ourselves in their shoes, hypothetically speaking?

There was once a time not so long ago, when  everyone who came to Karachi for a better life was welcomed with open arms regardless of what their political, religious or ethnic orientation was, it was not used to be seen as a line in the sand or a point of contention, but rather as a mixing pot of culture & ideologies, where everyone was “tolerant” of each other views, in every sense of the word Karachi was a loud, boisterous and a lively place once that brimmed with life resonating everywhere, the only thing that resonates now is the deafening echo of bomb blasts coupled with sporadic gun fire and the blaring sound of the sirens of ambulances rushing towards the troubled area.

Unfortunately, perhaps lately we Karachiites have grown accustomed and numb to all that senseless violence and bloodshed going around us, all the blood and tears that has been shed around us, we have this illusion that if we look the other way and let it be, we will insulate ourselves from it, ignoring this underlying problem by closing our eye shut won’t make it disappear, this is wishful thinking bordering naivety at best.The haves of our city are too busy fortifying their castles and fortresses, bomb and bullet proofing their vehicles in light of this looming threat while the have nots have nothing but the word of God in their heart to keep them away from harm’s way and being reduced to a number in the daily tally of lives lost in our city.

Must we reminisce of an era while sitting comfortably in our cozy and plush sofas having a casual social gathering with our friends and reflect on the thought that how Karachi was once truly “the city of lights” with great awe albeit with an undercurrent of sadness and feel nostalgic about it all?

Or should we try and make our collective selves heard? There’s no denying the fact we as inhabitants of Karachi stand divided and callous, for a lack of a better word!  Divided & segregated in terms of our creed, our language, our ethnicity, our race, our social status and our lifestyle.  The leeches, the parasites that are sucking the life, the vitality out of our city incessantly without showing any remorse are thriving and feeding off on this very fact. Karachi feels like it’s surrounded by its enemies who appear in the shape of those rabid hyenas who are biting it one at a time, picking on & feasting on its flesh mercilessly! Yet it still survives & will continue to do so. It is high time to put our petty and minuscule differences aside and focus on the larger scheme of things, so many precious lives has been lost in our dear city while we sit idly, bicker,  quarrel and oppose each other. Perhaps we should find solace in this particular extract from the poem INVICTUS by William Ernest Henley. These words stand as a testament to Karachi’s resolve and perseverance and the people that it harbors.

“……Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid…….”

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